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Scugog moving forward with battling climate change but won’t declare an emergency

SCUGOG: The Township of Scugog is supporting municipal efforts to combat climate change, but stopped short of declaring climate change an emergency, at a meeting on Monday, February 10th.

At the meeting, Regional Councillor Wilma Wotten made a motion that “the Township fully supports the Region [of Durham]’s efforts to reduce its carbon footprint by providing resources to municipalities and the public, to decrease emissions and build resiliency to climate impacts,” and to have Scugog “continue to move forward with initiatives to reduce emissions and apply climate change principles to infrastructure design, subject to budgetary constraints and staff resources.”

The motion was raised during a discussion on correspondence from the Region of Durham about how Regional Council, in late January, endorsed a decision to declare climate change an emergency.

However, members of Scugog council felt emergency is the wrong word to use, to promote climate change initiatives. “I find climate change is too important to be throwing the words ‘emergency declaration’ around. To be clear, climate change is a very real thing, and something that as a township we need to take ownership of, but not in the way the Region has, in declaring an emergency,” Ward 3 Councillor Angus Ross said.

Ward 5 Councillor Lance Brown agreed with the Ward 3 Councillor’s opinion. “I think you have to tread very carefully when you use the word ‘emergency’.” Ward 1 Councillor Ian McDougall expressed his appreciation for what the township has achieved on environmental measures “on the tight budgets that we have.”

Mayor Bobbie Drew said climate change is “certainly a crisis,” and “we all have to do our part, individually and as a township.” Councillor Wotten’s motion was approved.

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